I write in response to “Coronavirus: will Donald Trump blame China for expected global recession in 2020?” (March 18). The source of the novel coronavirus is being discussed worldwide. China may have recorded the earliest known incidence of Covid-19, but is not necessarily its source. There is no definite conclusion and United States government claims that it is a “Wuhan virus” or a “Chinese virus” lack evidence; its stigmatisation of the coronavirus reeks of racial discrimination.
That the US failed to take effective measures to prevent and control the spread of Covid-19 in its country was not caused by China concealing epidemic information.
From January, until the US community outbreak became severe, China has been providing timely information to the US and has offered technical cooperation. Many in the US government had anticipated the serious situation, but reports from US intelligence and health departments to the White House did not receive enough attention.
Recently, plunging US stock markets have repeatedly triggered the “circuit breaker” – designed to prevent a free fall – and the US economy has been significantly affected, which may have an impact on President Trump’s re-election chances. That is why his administration and US political parties are paying special attention to the economy.
But the US economy may have been on the verge of recession even before the coronavirus outbreak. For example, the pull-out rate of private investment in the US dropped sharply last year, and the country’s debt-to-income ratio for non-financial corporations is close to a record high. It may not be so easy for the Trump administration to blame a recession on the coronavirus.
Unilateralism and protectionism have inflicted major shocks on the international political and economic order. But the virus recognises no national borders and is a common challenge for all of mankind. The US Federal Reserve’s rate cut is not a panacea.
As the coronavirus spreads, China and the US should treat each other with mutual respect and strengthen their pandemic communication. Uniting the world in fighting this pandemic is the best option available.